Home > Uncategorized > Is this an etiquette question or an ethical question?

Is this an etiquette question or an ethical question?

I don’t like strawberries.

Never have, not really. I will, occasionally, eat them, especially if they are very freshly picked. But given my druthers, I pretty much ignore the whole berry family, including tomatoes and eggplants.

The Husband is allergic to all nuts. Has been since I met him, eleven years ago. He also doesn’t like strawberries.

The Child loves strawberries but currently she’s not eating nuts while we wait for an appointment with an allergist.

This Saturday when I met my mom and mother in law for a Mother’s Day to-do (insert over-wrought logistical melodrama here), my folks showed up with a cold box from Edible Arrangements. Chocolate and fruit, it said across the top. Ooooh, said I.

When I opened it up, though, what was it? Chocolate-covered strawberries… rolled in nuts.

There was a time when I would have gotten all upset about this. I must have evolved because I just can’t be bothered to get bothered anymore. I thanked my folks and then, afterwards, pulled my mother-in-law aside in the parking lot and slipped her the box since she has a passion for chocolate-covered strawberries. Told her not to mention it to my mom and was done with it.

Then today my mom called and asked about the strawberries.

Quick, what do I do? Lie and tell her they were yummy or tell the truth and say that I don’t like them, didn’t eat them? Make up some fantastic fib about finding a homeless mom at the rest stop in Natick and giving them to her? Change the subject?

I lied.

“They were great,” I fibbed.

“Were they all melted by the time you got home?”

“No,” I winced, realizing after I said it that probably they would have melted in the heat on Saturday.

“i’m shocked! I was certain they would have melted! Did you–”

Now, a small fib is fine in my world. But I really don’t do big lies… certainly not without forethought. But she was just going to keep bringing up these damned strawberries until I had to admit the truth, wasn’t she? So I did what any good mother does.

I went to the child.

“Honey, please be quiet!” I said, even though the Child wasn’t making all that much noise. “I’m talking to Grammy. Do you want to talk to Grammy?”

And there, the phone was off, The Child told a long and involved story about dancing for snow, and by the time I got the phone back she’d forgotten about the fucking strawberries.

Some small part of me wants to say that I’m dooming myself to twenty years of strawberries by not mentioning it to her. But since it’s been a life-time thing, one that comes up at least once a year at my mom’s birthday (when I make her a strawberry shortcake and don’t eat any), I figure she’s never going to learn. So why make a fuss about it, right?

But I still feel bad about lying.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Juliet Bravo
    May 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Well, technically, you didn’t actually lie 🙂 You said that the strawberries were great, and I’m sure that the person who ate them enjoyed them, so that was true! You said that they didn’t melt, and, while they were in your possession, they didn’t, so that was true as well. If your mother cannot keep track of the fact that you don’t like them, then I see no need for you to bend over backwards to tell her the _whole_ truth.

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